United Nations raises concern over ‘alarming rate’ of executions in Iran

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The United Nations is raising concerns about a surge of executions in Iran, according to a new report. 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres brought concerns over the use of capital punishment in Iran to the UN General Assembly.

A total of 419 people were executed by the Iranian government during the first seven months of 2023. 

Statistics show that this is a 30% increase in executions, compared to the same time period last year.

Guterres reported that seven men were executed in the aftermath of Iran’s widespread September 2022 protests against the death of Mahsa Amini. 

Amini died in the hospital under mysterious circumstances after Iranian police say she suffered a heart attack while under arrest for not wearing a hijab. 

Witnesses claimed this was a lie and that she was beaten to death by authorities.

Guterres said the UN had found evidence in all seven executions related to the protests that ‘consistently indicated that the judicial proceedings did not fulfill the requirements for due process and a fair trial under international human rights law.’

The UN Human Rights Office said that at least 20,000 people were arrested by the Iranian government between September 2022 and February 2023.

Of significant concern were the ages of those arrested.

‘It is particularly concerning that most of the individuals arrested may have been children, given that the reported average age of those arrested was estimated to be 15 years, according to the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,’ the secretary general said.

The UN also reported a 98% increase in executions for drug-related offenses. Guterres claims that 239 people were given the death penalty for drug crimes in the first seven months of 2023.

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